NOVEMBER 17, 1939
WASHINGTON, Thursday—When we arrived in Bluefield, W. Va., yesterday we had had no lunch, so we crossed the street to a little restaurant to have a sandwich and a glass of milk. In a minute the proprietor was at Miss Thompson's elbow, saying that if he had time he would go home to find his letters from the President and, in view of his friendship, would I go on the radio and talk to the people of two counties! Since we had a long drive before us and several engagements, any further delay seemed out of the question, but before we left a few interested spectators had gathered to find out just what we were doing in Bluefield.
The drive through the mountains to Logan was very beautiful. I never cease to marvel at the ease and rapidity with which those accustomed to mountain driving cover the miles over those rather narrow and twisting roads.
A press conference in Logan was interesting because of the youth of the press. They brought me copies of the local paper, which was very well printed and set up. It was evident that these young reporters were really deeply interested in their jobs.
One young girl, who is the only feature writer in Logan, I had met in Fort Worth, Texas. After all the others had left, she lingered to ask about her great ambition—a chance for a few minutes private interview, which I fear will not be granted because so many ask. Then came a talk with a Quaker woman who ran, for a time, a clinic in Logan in which I was interested, and who is now trying to do a real job for the crippled children of the locality. Finally, two teachers brought in a little girl they discovered as having real musical talent.
She is now twelve years old and they have been watching her ever since she was six. Her parents are Hungarians and the father is a miner, so her opportunities to develop what talent she may have are limited. She played the piano for me in a manner which showed a real feeling for music. It would be wonderful if someone could send this child to a good music school where she could obtain some training in dramatics as well. I hate to confess knowing very little about the possibilities for this type of education, but I am going to try to find out, not only what schools there are, but what chance there might be of obtaining a scholarship, for without it she can certainly never go beyond what she has already attained.
After the evening lecture, we were driven into Huntington, W. Va., in time to make a 1:30 am train. I must have been a very unsatisfactory guest on this trip, because I was completely overcome by sleep and could only prod myself awake sufficiently now and then to make some stupid remark.
We saw a forest fire in the mountains as we drove along. In the dark it looked dramatic and beautiful, but I could not help thinking how dreary and sad those blackened hillsides would look by daylight. What a shame it is that these forest fires, usually started by carelessness, cannot be stopped. Now we are on the train arriving in Washington in time for lunch.